Oil marketers in Nigeria have insisted that it is no longer profitable to sell at the rate of N145 per litre.
The marketers, according to a report by TheCable, made this known on Tuesday, January 2, 2017, during a meeting with top government officials led by Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, who presided over the meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, and Lawal Daura, director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), were in attendance.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Dapo Abiodun, chairman of Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), spoke on the cause of the petrol scarcity.
“Today’s meeting was called at the instance of the chief of staff to the president and it was to find out exactly what happened, where we had the problems we had in December with the supply of petrol and how Nigerians were made to go through the pains and suffering,” he said.
“He wanted to know the truth and to ensure that going forward this problem will be solved once and for all. And that is why you saw that we sat in here from 2pm and the meeting just finished after three and half hours.
“A lot of issues were raised and a committee was constituted that will meet tomorrow under the chairmanship of the minister of petroleum to further go into the nitty-gritty and to ensure that these problems do not reoccur again.
“From our point of view as marketers, we made our submission known to government and we emphasised the fact that this was not a marketer-related problem. There was no hoarding on the part of any marketer. Marketers are your brothers, they are Nigerian citizens, they are businessmen, no marketer makes money from hoarding petroleum products, our business is to take petrol and sell.
“We explained that the problem that you saw is not willful on the part of anyone either NNPC or marketers.
“The situation, from our point of view, is that from January to December, the price of crude remained relatively stable. Following the Hurricane Katrina in the month of September, October, crude prices went up and marketers lost the ability to import and sell at N145 per liter.
“Since the price of crude is directly proportional to the refined product, we could not import petrol and sell at N145 anymore. And this business is a partnership between marketers and NNPC. Marketers bring in a certain volume and NNPC also brings in a certain volume.”
“In the past marketers bring in about 60% while NNPC brings about 35 to 40 percent. But by the month of October marketers completely stopped importing because there no more subsidy so we can’t sell for profit so we have to stop importing.
“So, the burden of importing 100% now fell on NNPC. So you can imagine a situation where NNPC was importing in part and marketers were importing in part and then suddenly NNPC begins to import 100%. Couple with the fact that in the months we called the ember months from October to December the consumption of petrol is highest in the country.